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Returning Warriors Welcomed Back to the the Big Easy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071222-01
Release Date: 12/22/2007 10:00:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/SW) Shawn Graham, Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB), New Orleans welcomed back one of its own Dec. 21.

Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Brian T. Nelson's return from duty in Iraq marks the 20th individual augmentee (IAs) from the base, to safely return from the global war on terrorism.

"Without the support of our Navy family we couldn't have made it," said Sharon Nelson, wife and command ombudsman for NAS JRB. "We talked on the phone and video teleconferenced a lot so the pain of him being gone wasn't so bad. It's a relief to finally have him back."

"It's easy to forget about people who aren't here. Things in the Navy move so fast that it's easy to loose track of one person," said Nelson. "IA's are still apart of your command and if you keep in contact with them they'll feel apart of the team and will quickly become an integral part of your command again."

Nelson, a 16-year Navy veteran capped off an incredible tour of duty in Iraq with a surprise visit to Belle Chasse Primary School, Belle Chasse, La., to surprise his five-year old daughter.

"The entire time in Iraq, all my free time was spent thinking of my wife and family. All things the spouses go through are unnoticed. They are the ones that deserve the credit," said Nelson

"We've constantly kept in touch with our IAs, checking on their families and making sure that they're taken care of," said Chief Yeoman (AW) Linda Lewis, administration chief and IA coordinator. "It's an honor to work with Sailors who are brave enough to raise their hand and volunteer."

"We could all learn something from their personal sacrifices. They represent the best the Navy has to offer and NAS JRB."

NAS JRB New Orleans currently has 10 personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and also has three personnel preparing to deploy.

For more news from Naval Air Station New Orleans, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasno/.

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